Will bows still be the only worthwhile ranged weapon in PF2?


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TheFinish wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Kerrilyn wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

In real life a crossbow should need several rounds to reload, yes, but then it should do something like 6d8, if a longbow does 1d8. English longbow had an estimated 100-150lb pull. There are medieval crossbows that beat 700-900.

That would not be very balanced, so let's use a dose of handwavium here

The little tiny prods of the crossbow could not impart the same velocity onto a bolt that the long limbs of a longbow could put into an arrow. The draw weights aren't directly comparable. 1 pound of longbow draw is worth many pounds of crossbow draw.

Also those 700 pound crossbows? They're cranequin-drawn. You would be very lucky to reload those once in two encounters' worth of time.

Anyways in Pathfinderies, the crossbow just puts you a feat behind for the light variety.

I didn't know what that word meant, so I looked it up and watched a video of a guy using one. Going at a decent speed, his rate of fire was about 1/minute. So in PF terms, that's once every ten rounds, and the entire rest of the time you're reloading.

Wow.

That's the kind of weapon you need one or two people to help you reload.

And yet, you will not find videos of someone using a legit english long bow to fire three or four times in six seconds at full draw at a target 90 feet away.

Or a guy doing the same.....with a musket. A muzzle loading musket, no less.

I think if we can suspend our disbelief for those, we can do it for the poor crossbow as well. If you want to make them take longer to reload, that's fine, just make sure it doesn't cripple the weapon to the point of uselessness in most cases.

I'm reminded of that episode in Game of Thrones where the Archer fires his arrow straight up and tells the lad he has so many second to decide de. When he does, he tells the lad to steps aside and the arrow lands right where he was standing.

That doesn't just border on the impossible. That goes over the edge well into the world of mysticism and fantasy.

And yet, that's the kind of skill we expect from a even a mid level archer. And if we have that kind of fantasy for one weapon, why can't we have it for other weapons as well? Why do we have to stick with realism for the crossbow when we blatantly disregard it for the bow?


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ChibiNyan wrote:
How about also make the Shortbow have some advantage over the Longbow? I have a hard-time imagining entire party carrying 5ft+ bows just because they have proficiency in martial weapons. What's the niche of shortbow? Just because Rogues get it? Think it should be more encouraged on builds which aren't focused on archery somehow. Make people work for the advantage of the Longbow over short...

The normal shortbow does have an advantage over the normal longbow in that you can use it mounted, while you can't use a longbow. The composites can both be used mounted, however.

So maybe something like that? Or some sort of speed bonus for the shortbow, to represent it's lower draw weight? (Like you can fire two arrows as one action once per round, or somesuch.)

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They could address this using the different proficiency levels - for example, since bows are tougher to learn than crossbows, make crossbows better at Trained than bows. Maybe bows pull ahead at Expert. By Legendary they could both be awesome in different ways (If you're going to have an ability worthy of being called Legendary, you ought to be awesome even if you're Legendary at wielding a sharpened spoon).

Also, really, it's composite longbow that's the end-all be-all of ranged weapons in PF1e, not bows in general. I'd like to see shortbows get a little love too, as they are IME used even less than crossbows. At least wizards will use a crossbow at level 1. Who has martial weapon proficiency and chooses shortbow?


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My hope is that the sling (war sling) will be a much better weapon in PF 2. A trained slinger should be able to put as many bullets in the air as an archer.


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bookrat wrote:


I didn't know what that word meant, so I looked it up and watched a video of a guy using one. Going at a decent speed, his rate of fire was about 1/minute. So in PF terms, that's once every ten rounds, and the entire rest of the time you're reloading.

Wow.

That's the kind of weapon you need one or two people to help you reload.

Was it Leo "Tod" Todeschini by any chance? He's a go-to guy about medieval crossbows. Makes and sells them too (also well known for his scabbards and daggers). He has a lot of good videos on firing different kinds of crossbows and how they work.

But yeah, cranequins are slow. Very slow. Also expensive. For anything under like 500 pounds Tod always recommends a goats foot lever because they're much faster. Here's a nice rundown of the most common spanning methods. And a windless is used for the really heavy bows and can get about 1 shot every 30 seconds if you're doing it right, possibly faster. And some professional crossbowman had a Pavise Holder who would help with loading (like by unwinding the cranequin or windless if not loading a second bow) as well as set up their pavise. Cranequins were also very popular for hunting bows, where rate of shot isn't very important (and again they'd have assistants to help load things).

But as someone else pointed out, all the loading and firing speeds in pathfinder are dramatically faster than real life. The English army was widely regarded as highly trained for being able to do 4 shots a minute with a musket using paper cartridges. A completely untrained character in pathfinder can do 5 without paper cartridges. And you're not going to find someone shooting a full draw-weight longbow every 2 or 3 seconds like is common in Pathinder. That Lars guy doing trick-shots on youtube uses like a 40 pound bow that he doesn't even fully draw, so his power is garbage.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
bookrat wrote:


I didn't know what that word meant, so I looked it up and watched a video of a guy using one. Going at a decent speed, his rate of fire was about 1/minute. So in PF terms, that's once every ten rounds, and the entire rest of the time you're reloading.

Wow.

That's the kind of weapon you need one or two people to help you reload.

Was it Leo "Tod" Todeschini by any chance? He's a go-to guy about medieval crossbows. Makes and sells them too (also well known for his scabbards and daggers). He has a lot of good videos on firing different kinds of crossbows and how they work.

But yeah, cranequins are slow. Very slow. Also expensive. For anything under like 500 pounds Tod always recommends a goats foot lever because they're much faster. Here's a nice rundown of the most common spanning methods. And a windless is used for the really heavy bows and can get about 1 shot every 30 seconds if you're doing it right, possibly faster. And some professional crossbowman had a Pavise Holder who would help with loading (like by unwinding the cranequin or windless if not loading a second bow) as well as set up their pavise. Cranequins were also very popular for hunting bows, where rate of shot isn't very important (and again they'd have assistants to help load things).

But as someone else pointed out, all the loading and firing speeds in pathfinder are dramatically faster than real life. The English army was widely regarded as highly trained for being able to do 4 shots a minute with a musket using paper cartridges. A completely untrained character in pathfinder can do 5 without paper cartridges. And you're not going to find someone shooting a full draw-weight longbow every 2 or 3 seconds like is common in Pathinder. That Lars guy doing trick-shots on youtube uses like a 40 pound bow that he doesn't even fully draw, so his power is garbage.

Yeah, it was Tod. He seemed really knowledgeable, and he seemed to be going at a decent pace.

Also, agreed to everything else, especially the trick shot guy.


Give heavy crossbows touch attacks instead of AC.

That represents them piercing armor like in real life.

Rate of fire can be lower than a bow, and damage can be similar because the hit rate should be higher.


*Thelith wrote:

Give heavy crossbows touch attacks instead of AC.

That represents them piercing armor like in real life.

Rate of fire can be lower than a bow, and damage can be similar because the hit rate should be higher.

I really dislike the use of touch attacks for weapons. This is one thing that made guns so overpowered in PF1. That and the ability to dual wield a ranged weapon that does ranged touch attacks.

And besides, crossbows really aren't any stronger than a full strength warbow (the inefficiency basically cancels out the very high draw weight). And the ability to penetrate plate armor with either a longbow or crossbow is a hotly contested thing. A lot of modern tests are problematic in that they often use inaccurate armor, bows or arrows/bolts. The evidence I've seen seems to be that neither would reliably penetrate a hardened breastplate straight on, but might be able to do nasty things if it got into the gaps or sides of the visor or other weak points (I've seen mention of accounts of armored men advancing with their head down to keep the arrows from going into the weak points of their visor). Mail is another thing entirely (and what was often in those gaps along with a padded arming doublet) and could be defeated with a strong bow of either sort, but it didn't just ignore it.


Saint Bernard wrote:
My hope is that the sling (war sling) will be a much better weapon in PF 2. A trained slinger should be able to put as many bullets in the air as an archer.

Here's an idea I just had for slings. Have the weapon die of the sling increase based on Proficiency.

Untrained: 1d3
Trained: 1d4
Expert: 1d6
Master: 1d8
Legendary: 1d10.

That way you have shepherds who don't do a lot of damage while guarding their flocks, while at the same time those legendary sling warriors can exceed the damage of a longbow.


Dilvias wrote:
Saint Bernard wrote:
My hope is that the sling (war sling) will be a much better weapon in PF 2. A trained slinger should be able to put as many bullets in the air as an archer.

Here's an idea I just had for slings. Have the weapon die of the sling increase based on Proficiency.

Untrained: 1d3
Trained: 1d4
Expert: 1d6
Master: 1d8
Legendary: 1d10.

That way you have shepherds who don't do a lot of damage while guarding their flocks, while at the same time those legendary sling warriors can exceed the damage of a longbow.

Upgrading weapon damage with proficiency is an interesting idea but I don't think they'll go for it, simply due to the math involved. And I don't mean normally, jumping from 1d6 to 1d8 is just an average of +1.5 damage, but I mean when you start using feats that add more dice and such.

It would be a nice touch though.


TheFinish wrote:


Upgrading weapon damage with proficiency is an interesting idea but I don't think they'll go for it, simply due to the math involved. And I don't mean normally, jumping from 1d6 to 1d8 is just an average of +1.5 damage, but I mean when you start using feats that add more dice and such.

It would be a nice touch though.

It's an interesting idea, and I wouldn't be surprised is already a feature of proficiency that they just haven't told us about. I think it has some serious promise.


Dilvias wrote:
Saint Bernard wrote:
My hope is that the sling (war sling) will be a much better weapon in PF 2. A trained slinger should be able to put as many bullets in the air as an archer.

Here's an idea I just had for slings. Have the weapon die of the sling increase based on Proficiency.

Untrained: 1d3
Trained: 1d4
Expert: 1d6
Master: 1d8
Legendary: 1d10.

That way you have shepherds who don't do a lot of damage while guarding their flocks, while at the same time those legendary sling warriors can exceed the damage of a longbow.

BECMI weapon mastery rules did something like that, with larger/extra dice being part of gaining a greater level of expertise (though there were other things as well). The sling went 1d4/1d6/2d4/3d4/4d4 damage with a range increase and forced a save to avoid being stunned.

Dark Archive

Bluenose wrote:
BECMI weapon mastery rules did something like that, with larger/extra dice being part of gaining a greater level of expertise (though there were other things as well). The sling went 1d4/1d6/2d4/3d4/4d4 damage with a range increase and forced a save to avoid being stunned.

I always liked the BECMI weapon mastery concept. In other editions, a 1st level fighter would do the exact same amount of damage as a 20th level fighter if all other variables were the same (same weapon, same STR score, etc). With BECMI weapon mastery, a character has the opportunity become truly badass with weapons that he puts the effort into mastering.


*Thelith wrote:

Give heavy crossbows touch attacks instead of AC.

That represents them piercing armor like in real life.

Rate of fire can be lower than a bow, and damage can be similar because the hit rate should be higher.

Given the publisher has expressed dissatisfaction with how guns work, and stated the gun mechanics need their own separate playtest before bring reintroduced, I doubt they will make crossbows operate this way.


TheFinish wrote:
Dilvias wrote:
Saint Bernard wrote:
My hope is that the sling (war sling) will be a much better weapon in PF 2. A trained slinger should be able to put as many bullets in the air as an archer.

Here's an idea I just had for slings. Have the weapon die of the sling increase based on Proficiency.

Untrained: 1d3
Trained: 1d4
Expert: 1d6
Master: 1d8
Legendary: 1d10.

That way you have shepherds who don't do a lot of damage while guarding their flocks, while at the same time those legendary sling warriors can exceed the damage of a longbow.

Upgrading weapon damage with proficiency is an interesting idea but I don't think they'll go for it, simply due to the math involved. And I don't mean normally, jumping from 1d6 to 1d8 is just an average of +1.5 damage, but I mean when you start using feats that add more dice and such.

It would be a nice touch though.

It could be that the proficiency is just added to damage. That would fit more with their unified mechanics goal.

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